Ombud intervenes in gunners’ career stagnation


The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) – at least its Artillery Formation in the landward service – appears not to have paid proper attention to the end of apartheid with former non-statutory force (NSF) gunners resorting to the Military Ombud for restitution.

A politically correctly worded statement from the Military Ombud’s office has it retired general Vusi Masondo staff “made a positive career intervention for 29 members of the SA Army Artillery Formation”. They maintain, since integration in 1995, their careers “stagnated” because they were denied promotion opportunities while “those from the former SADF (SA Defence Force)” were promoted to senior ranks.

The 29 gunners wanted, according to the statement, relief in the form of fast-tracking “career progression” and “opportunities to attend promotional and developmental courses”.

“Investigation by the Military Ombud Office ascertained allegations by complainants regarding lack of and limited career progression in the Artillery Formation were substantiated.

“The complaint was upheld and recommendations made to the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans (Thandi Modise) to the effect the Formation should conduct career intervention to look into career progression of the complainants with the aim of addressing the matter.

“The findings were accepted by the Minister and the Formation is in the process of implementing the Military Ombud’s recommendations,” the statement reads.

The Artillery Formation is currently headed by an acting General Officer Commanding (GOC), a Major Moraka. He has been acting since the death of Brigadier General Khaya Makina in March this year. Previous officers commanding the Formation include former SADF Chief Constand Viljoen, Colonel Koos “Bom” Laubscher and brigadier generals Chris Roux, Deon Holtzhausen and Abe Notshweleka, who retired as a major general.